Archives For Family

 

Marriages often become disillusioned because we start to believe things that simply aren’t true. When that happens, we start to run FROM our spouse instead of TO them. We start to blame them instead of taking ownership for believing myths about marriage that aren’t true.

We build on the wrong assumptions and foundation then wonder why it didn’t produce what we dreamed it would be.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the ROCK. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the ROCK. (Matthew 7:24-25)

The goal is to build our relationships on the ROCK instead of sand. Storms are coming in your relationship! It isn’t a matter of IF but WHEN.

Below are four myths about marriage that can cause us to build our relationships on sand. One of the first things we must do is IDENTIFY the lie so we can REPLACE it with the truth.

Myth #1: Marriage is a 50/50 proposition.

Many people view marriage like a contract. I signed a contract on the lease for our house. There is nothing positive about a contract. It is nothing more than a list of what will happen if I don’t hold up to my end of the bargain. Marriages are often set up this way. We make a list in our minds of what we will or won’t do based upon the actions of our spouse.

We view marriage more like a contract instead of a covenant. A covenant is when I said “I DO” I meant it! A covenant goes ALL IN regardless of the response of the other person. A covenant loves you on your worst day. Anyone can love someone who loves them. It takes someone empowered by God’s Spirit to love someone when they least deserve it and need it the most.

That is what Jesus did for us. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Not while we had it all together. Not while we were worthy of it. He came and did what we couldn’t do so we could experience a relationship we can’t live without! It was an ALL IN love.

Real marriage is loving your spouse when they don’t deserve it and when they least expect it. The best way to do this is to remember this is exactly how God loves you. The very least we could do is extend to others what God has already extended to us.

Myth #2: Everything good in our relationship will automatically get better.

The honeymoon isn’t over when you celebrated for a few days after your wedding. The honeymoon is over when you wake up one day and realize you married a real imperfect person. We marry an image of a person only later to discover we actually married a REAL person. When you are dating, you are putting your best foot forward. When you are married, the real person comes out.

They say when you are dating opposites ATTRACT but when you get married opposites ATTACK. The very things that drew you to someone can be the very things that drive you crazy once you are married!

Marriage is best spelled W-O-R-K. Marriage is incredible but it takes work! You do not have an awesome marriage in a day but by what you do DAILY. It doesn’t automatically get better. Without constant attention, marriages drift. With purpose and intention, marriage can be incredible!

WORK at it. It is WORTH it. Future generations in your family tree can be impacted by the DAILY decisions you make to work at your relationship.

Myth #3: My Spouse will complete me.

There is so much pressure in our society to find Mr. or Mrs. “Right.” We begin to idolize and obsess over the need to find someone to complete us. News flash – two imperfect people coming together does NOT make a perfect union! If you are single, the good news is you don’t need someone to complete you.

A spouse is not meant to complete you but to complement you! Only God can complete you. “…God lives in us and His love is made COMPLETE in us.” (1 John 4:12)

What we idolize we will eventually demonize. No one but GOD can meet and exceed every expectation you could ever need in a relationship.

Stop running to a person to fill a need only God can fill. Your spouse can’t complete you, but they can complement you and help bring out the best in you.

Myth #4: My Spouse is to blame for the majority of our problems.

The blame game is old as the garden of Eden (Genesis 3). The man blamed the woman. The woman blamed the serpent. The serpent blamed God.

Marriage doesn’t create problems. It REVEALS them. “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war WITHIN you?” (James 4:1)

We believe the lies that our spouse is the problem so we need a new spouse. A new spouse or relationship won’t work. You must first look in the mirror and deal with what is WITHIN you.

You can go through all the relationships you want and blame others for them not working out. There is only one common denominator in all of your relationships – YOU!

Hope can enter the equation when we stop blaming our spouse and cry to God saying, “Lord, change me!”

Sand or The ROCK?

I pray you can bust through these myths and discover relationships the way God intended.

Identify the lies. Replace with the truth. Build on the ROCK.

 

holding hands
We are currently in a relationship series at Elevate Church. It’s one of those topics you could do every Sunday because we ALL need help for our relationships. You can’t live on this planet without being in relationship. At the end of the day, we are the sum total of our relationships.
The problem in most relationships is not that fights occur. There will be fights, arguments, and disagreements. After all, you did marry a human being. Two imperfect beings coming together doesn’t make a perfect union. All couples fight IN their relationships. Few truly fight FOR their relationships.
Susan and I can both be pretty stubborn people. We’ve had our fair share of heated arguments. One of the biggest differences and what’s helped us over the years is fighting FOR our relationship. Neither of us are content with surviving in marriage. We don’t always get it right, but we strive to have a relationship that thrives instead of simply making it through another day.
Maybe you are ready to throw in the towel. Maybe you have already settled and thought “this is just the way it’s going to be.” No, it doesn’t have to be that way!
One of you or both must choose today to begin fighting again.

Here Are Three Ways You Can Fight For Your Marriage Today:

1) On Your Knees.

It’s time to fight like a man – a man of God. It’s time to fight like a woman – a woman of God. Grab each other’s hand and get on your knees together. Cry out and ask God to do what you can’t do on your own. If your spouse won’t, then start today and get on your knees and pray for your spouse. God can do more in a moment than you could ever do in a lifetime of nagging or manipulation.
2 Chronicles 20:12 says, “We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” When you don’t know what to do or where to go, it’s time to drop to your knees! It’s time to say, “God, I can’t but YOU can!”

2) By Faith and not feelings. 

Your feelings will lie to you. Your feelings will tell you – you are better off with someone else, nothing is ever going to change, the grass is greener on the other side, etc. Don’t believe the lies!
IN CHRIST – you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37), greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4), God will complete what He has started in your life and marriage (Philippians 1:6), He has promised you a HOPE and a FUTURE (Jeremiah 29:11).
When Jesus enters the equation, your best days are ahead and what was impossible now becomes possible through Him!
Love includes feelings but is more than a feeling. Choices lead. Feelings follow. Sometimes the best way to love is by faith. Your feelings will eventually follow. Don’t ride the roller coaster of feelings. Live and love by faith.

3) In the Spirit and not the flesh. 

My flesh has gotten me in trouble over the years. I’ve said things I shouldn’t, done things I regret, and I’m sure much worse. The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Whose relationship wouldn’t be better with these in them?!  This is a by product of being filled with God’s Spirit. It is something you must yield to every day. It’s humbly coming to God and saying I’ve tried it my way but now I want to do it your way. The pathway is surrender. Surrender your bitterness, anger, regrets, and anything else that is holding your relationship back from all God has.
Believe it or not, God cares more than you could ever imagine. He wants to provide hope and healing but you must let Him.

Never Forget This 

If you want what few have you must be willing to do what few do!
All couples fight IN their marriage. Few fight FOR their marriage.
Fight today and every day FOR your relationships. The greatest thing you can do for your kids and grandkids is have a healthy marriage. The greatest thing you can do for future generations of your family tree is fight FOR your marriage. It isn’t about just what happens today. Future generations will be impacted by your choice today to fight FOR your marriage.

It is WORTH the FIGHT.

What are some of the other ways you fight FOR your marriage?

My wife and I married over 15 years ago. We said we wanted as many kids as the Lord would give us, then we had our first child.

Everything changed! We were barely sure we wanted two children at that point. Fifteen years later, we ended up with four kids and together moved across the country to start a church. There are a lot of lessons we’ve learned over the years about church planting but just as many lessons are being learned about parenting in ministry.

Check out the list and full article at LifeWay Pastors.

14188337_10208818227389818_1229573384499094983_o

Ava and Jeremiah started school on Monday. Ava is in 2nd Grade and Jeremiah is in 5th Grade.

IMG_4922

Naomi and Elijah started school yesterday. Elijah is in 7th Grade and his first year at Carmel Valley Middle School. Naomi is in 8th grade this year.

I swear every time I blink these kids are getting older. I can’t believe we have two middle schoolers and our youngest is now in second grade!

We are grateful for these four blessings God has given us. We believe greatness is over their lives and God is going to use each of them in a huge way this year!

Last night, Elijah said he thinks he has completely memorized the prayer we pray over him each night. Susan told him that’s good and we pray he never forgets it!

It was a reminder that as parents our prayers are like prophecies being spoken over our children. It’s like I told a couple at church on Sunday during a baby dedication – we can’t be perfect parents but we can be praying parents.

The last few weeks we certainly have come to know that like never before. We have prayed so much and asked for God’s grace in such a life changing time for our family as Elijah was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. We are believing for God’s healing over his life and a cure for all Type 1 Diabetes!

In the mean time, we pray. We trust. We believe. We know God didn’t cause this, but He will use this!

Elijah has gone through so many emotions. Anger, sadness, tears, frustration, etc. You name it he has probably experienced it as we have too.

It’s reminded me just how little control we have in this life. Control is one of the greatest illusions in human history. We don’t have near as much control over what we think we do. What we do have complete control over is how we choose to respond in any given situation. Make no mistake, what is inside will eventually come out for better or worse.

Elijah had a great first day of school and adjusted well to his new routine. He has to go to the nurse’s office before lunch each day to check his blood sugar and administer his shot. He did both by himself on the first day of school.

He has come a long way in just a few short weeks since being diagnosed. He regularly checks his own blood sugar and can do his own shots when needed. Susan and I handle breakfast and dinner time routines. We try our best  to make this adjustment he has had to make as easy as possible for him.

He has had some blood sugar lows the past couple of days. He has gone below 60 a few times which enters the “danger zone.” The other day he had a “low” and didn’t even realize it. Susan looked at him and he was white as a ghost. We pray he quickly gets to know his body in a way that he can spot when he is having a low or gets really high.

We submitted for a glucose monitor reader that he wears 24/7 called Dexcom. We pray it gets approved. It will really help for when he is playing sports or away from us for an extended period of time. It would help in this period where he is still trying to figure out his body and the doctors are leveling out his insulin intake.

Here are two verses we put on our refrigerator and we are clinging to this school year over each of our children.

“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

“Take delight in the Lord,and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” (Psalm 37:4-5)

Thank you for your prayers.

We are grateful!

Elijah Leaving The Hospital

August 12, 2016

IMG_4838

Leaving The Hospital on Wednesday. We thank the Rady Children’s staff who were so great to us.

IMG_4840

Like Father. Like Son. In This together!

We are so grateful we were able to go home on Wednesday evening. We are home and adjusting to a new normal. I am so proud of Elijah. He literally has not complained one time about taking four shots a day and getting his finger pricked at least 4 and sometimes more each day.

He even played basketball on Thursday night for the tryouts on a competitive basketball team he plays for. He did a great job and is making progress. The doctors gave him permission and we want him to get back to being as normal as possible. The last thing we ever want is for him to feel he can’t do certain things.

His blood sugar dropped very low around midnight last night and we were up late checking his blood sugar levels multiple times and getting him to take certain things to raise his levels. He vomited and became very pale. Of course, we panicked, called the doctor, and did everything else we knew to do. Thankfully, it all evened out. We know it’s going to take time finding a healthy balance and what he needs to keep everything at a healthy level.

Thank you again for everyone who has prayed and encouraged us. We are grateful for each of you.

We know God is going to use this to build something great in and through Elijah. God is teaching us a lot through it all.

We see His hand in so much that we’ve had to walk through already and we are so grateful for His love and grace each day!

Living In His Grace,

Kevin & Susan